Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Hello from Iqaluit!

This post is being posted pretty late in the evening, I'm sorry! My only excuse is that I've been in Iqaluit since Monday for work and the days have been long, so I'm pretty tired by the evening. I'm actually writing this from the hotel bed (1st overtime of the Pittsburgh/Boston game is on in the background and I'm so stressed! Playoffs make me so nervous!)

When we left Baker on Monday morning, it was a sunny day with a beautiful forecast in store for the week (12 degrees tomorrow, I hear!). Unfortunately, Iqaluit was having an unexpected freak snowfall on Monday and we were prepped in Rankin that if the weather was bad, we would overshoot Iqaluit and fly to a community in Quebec to refuel, and then return to Rankin where we would have to spend the evening. Needless to say, there were probably a dozen people from my work alone, and we were very anxious to land in Iqaluit on Monday if there was any possibility. Our collective fingers were crossed!

Thankfully we landed without issue after a long and very cramped flight. We got off the plane and there were flurries, but it was warm enough there were puddles on the ground.  I think in total there were about 10 cm that fell, although a lot of it was melting when we went for a walk later on in the evening. It's still looks more white in Iqaluit than it does in Baker when I left!


We made it to the Frobisher Inn (the Frob) without incident and marveled at the luxury of being in a car on a paved road instead of crunchy gravel. Oh, the little things in life! :) We had a lovely dinner at the hotel - arguably the best restaurant in town, complete with Northern prices (entrees run anywhere from $35 for pasta to $50 for a steak). I had the musk ox chop because I'm still on my quest to try everything from the Country Food menu, and my verdict: it was incredibly tough and not that flavourful. I didn't hate it, but I didn't love it either. I did, however, love the fresh vegetables and blackberries that were on the plate! Yum!


After dinner, a group of us took a walk down the hill to one of the stores, Arctic Ventures and browsed around for a while. It's much bigger than the Northern in Baker, with a Source by Circuit City there, as well as a movie "store" and a souvenir/clothing "store" upstairs. The store also *blasts* opera music on their outdoor speakers - I was told it was to discourage loiterers from clogging up their front steps, but it didn't seem like a very effective deterrent because there were a lot of teenagers hanging around when we walked in. I was impressed with the selection of produce (they sell daikon! and fiddleheads! and so much more!), and their fairly large international section. The only thing I managed to pick up was organic brown rice vinegar since we don't have that in Baker. I was really excited over my vinegar though!

I've been in training all day, every day, so my free time has been limited. My most memorable meal so far was prosciutto-wrapped turbot that was probably one of the best cooked fish dishes I've ever had, it was so melt-in-your-mouth amazing. It's also really nice to go out to a restaurant where they plate the food so prettily vs. throwing a bunch of fries on a plate with a burger or sandwich. Actually, it's nice to go for dinner at a place that offer more than sandwiches and deep fried things! What a treat!


I also found time to indulge in an incredibly luxury - I found a certified massage therapist and got a massage! My health benefits cover massages and I always thought it was something I needed to go south for, but I heard through the grapevine that there were RMT's in Iqaluit...and made it my mission to book an appointment. One therapist I called had no openings until August!! Thankfully I found a wonderful lady from Quebec and walked out feeling much less stressed and tense then I did 60 minutes prior. I noticed that there was a chiropractor in the same building as well and will probably look into that next time I'm back too! So much to do here in the "big city!" I was coming back from the massage, relaxed and content with life and had to notice the beautiful sunset. How can you not be happy looking at a skyline like that?



Aside from eating and indulging in my massage, the rest of the time's been very work-oriented. Funny, when I left school and started working, I used to get really excited at the prospect of traveling for work. Now, after being in jobs that required quite a bit of it all the time, I'm happy to be in one that allows for travel once in a blue moon (so it's nice to know the option is there, but it's not going to be a huge part of my job all the time). You don't realize how exhausting traveling for work can be, and how it's really not as fun as you'd think - the majority of my trips used to consist of airports, hotel rooms, offices, meetings, quick dinners, and then working in my hotel room to catch up on work that I was missing because I was traveling. It's very tiring, and now I also add, missing my husband and puppy to the list too! It's nice to have a change of scenery, but I'm also looking forward to returning to my family and to sleep in my own bed!

2 more sleeps!
-L



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